By on February 14, 2018

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

Since beginning production of the Model 3 last summer, Tesla has dialed back production targets like a thermostat in the springtime. The electric automaker’s first goal of 5,000 units per week by the end of the year passed as the champagne corks flew on New Year’s Eve, but by that time Tesla had already pushed it back to the end of Q1 2018.

Amid troubles on the assembly line, that target eventually moved to the end of the second quarter of this year, a goal that still stands.

Just how many Model 3s is Tesla cranking out these days? The company only reports deliveries on a quarterly basis, making it hard to get a firm read on the company’s exact output. One publication hopes to change that.

Enter the Tesla Model 3 Tracker, courtesy of Bloomberg News.

As of February 14th, Bloomberg calculates that the Fremont, California factory has cobbled together 7,341 Model 3 since production began, and can now boast —  or at least claim — a production rate of 1,025 vehicles per week.

Between the mid-summer production start and December 31, 2017, Tesla delivered 1,770 Model 3s. Things are clearly ramping up, though perhaps not as quickly as CEO Elon Musk would like. So, how did Bloomberg land on these figures?

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

The tracker keeps tabs on the Model 3 as best it can via “data from official U.S. government resources, social media reports, and direct communication with Tesla owners,” the publication states. There’s also two methods at work.

The first tracks VIN registrations at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. By compiling batches of VINs registered with the agency, then factoring in the intervening time period, a rough production rate arises. Rough, because automakers can register as many VINs at one time as they please. The second method takes things into the real world.

As Tesla owners and fans often display a great predilection for talking about all things Tesla on social media sites, blogs, and forums, VIN data often becomes available from photos posted to these sources. Other VINs are reported directly to Bloomberg, giving it a better sense of the pace of deliveries. (The publication’s constantly updating page offers an easy way to submit.)

Quarterly delivery data posted by Tesla will find its way to the page, retroactively refining the estimate. So, why did Bloomberg go to the trouble? For the same reason why we’re interested in it. Lofty, frequently changing promises from a rarely profitable company attempting something never done before require a dose of reality once in a while.

The tracker, if you choose to view it this way, is as much about measuring the worth of Musk’s words as it is about measuring Model 3s in the wild.

[Image: Tesla]

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27 Comments on “Tracking Tesla: As Model 3s Hit the Streets, There’s a New Way to Check Musk’s Pace of Production...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    1000 a week, let’s guess they’re doing two 10 hr shifts 6 days a week.
    So 8 an hour. Don’t know their expected run rate in full production, but 50 to 60 an hour is fairly common for vehicles IIRC. So they’re around 10% of goal.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    They probably had to slow down model 3 production a bit in order to get the line ready to make those Tesla Semi-Trucks and Roadsters, and perhaps a few rockets and solar panels.

  • avatar
    James2

    What Tesla should do–to make money–is sell impatient 3 owners a view from a real-time camera following the car on its merry way through the factory.

    “Look,” the prospective owner shrieks, “there’s my car being assembled!” “There’s my car in the paint booth.” “There’s my car on the transporter!”

    And so on.

  • avatar
    z9

    I just finished a drive from Maine to California via I-40 and between Tennessee and Arizona I saw four different car carriers loaded with Model 3s going east. FWIW I saw no car carriers of any other new cars, although I suppose if they were coming into Oxnard they’d probably travel east via I-10.

    I saw a lot of car carriers with used cars though. Gotta rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      18 months from now we’ll see thousands of Tesla semi tractors delivering millions of Tesla cars, solar panel arrays, space rockets, bass boats, airplanes, motorcycles, and snow machines, all through a network of transcontinental tunnels.

    • 0 avatar
      The Comedian

      Larger scale operations use rail for the long haul leg of getting cars from the coasts further inland.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Some of the YouTube reviews of the Model 3 are painful to watch. As if anyone wants to hear the words “cool” or “awesome” in a car review.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Edmunds did not have a positive review of their Model 3.

      • 0 avatar
        tnk479

        That’s an over simplification. Dan Edmunds had a lot of good things to say about it as well as some criticism.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FESJlsKeYGo

        IMO the center touchscreen is a garbage fire. How much does it cost to offer a gauge cluster in front of the driver? If Tesla’s battery and electric drive train is so expensive that they cannot offer basic, good ergonomics, then screw that. I am not interested.

  • avatar
    Hamilton Guy

    Slightly OT, but the Ontario Provincial Police just unveiled, at the Toronto International Auto Show, a Tesla Model X police car. https://www.facebook.com/SgtKerrySchmidt/photos/a.394781230882373.1073741829.378300495863780/568201200207041/?type=3&theater

  • avatar
    chris724

    I actually saw a Model 3 in the wild. I had no clue what it was until I saw the T on the hood.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Saw my first one in the wild, driving down the 101! Looked like its price, unlike other small EVs (think “Civic-size Model S.”) Well done. I don’t expect they’ll get volume up until they can get all the production machinery over from their new German machines-that-make-machines subsidiary and installed in Fremont, but a thousand a week ain’t bad if they’re still relying on a fair bit of hand-built labor.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Elon is like, rilly smart and stuff. He put a car into space, which my dad said is like rilly far away. He makes cars in a building that’s, like, so big you could fit another building in it, waaay cool. yeah.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Part of me was hoping for a live camera feed pointed at the exit door of the factory.

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      I wonder what it would cost for someone to rent space on the roof of one of the plant’s neighbors to do just that. Set up a website and use the ad revenue to offset some of the cost, sell aggregate data from observation to pay for the rest.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    The Elon Musk haters are out in full force in TTAC. Just goes to show why any claim to Make American Great Again is bound to fail, too many Americans apparently hate success now, or think they can get rich not through ideas but by appearing on The Voice.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      When Tesla ships its 500,000th Model 3, TTAC will run a fresh story about how Mr Musk lied about the timeline.

      Even with January’s modest production, the Model 3 outsold 111 other nameplates, including several that are revered around here.

      Slight aside: If this was a classroom environment, TTAC would qualify as a schoolyard bully who picks on the new kid who has crutches. If it was the home environment, TTAC would be the verbally abusive father who belittles their child’s early attempts to walk, rather than celebrating their successes. I can go to Electrek or insideeves for Tesla cheerleading (and I don’t need that), but TTAC has become just as predictable with its shrill finger-pointing.

  • avatar
    Coopergt

    I think most of them are in Southern California, i see lots in San Diego.

  • avatar
    amca

    I saw one at the dealer in Chicago. The back seat is a total joke – the floor is so high a 6 footer’s knees are in his chest. In trying to make the car pretty, and still have a battery under the floor, they’ve created a not very practical car. Feels jokey.

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